The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 84

other two.

He heard all I said without attempting to controvert any of my
arguments, and I had begun to hope that he would be prevailed upon to do
as I desired. But when I had ceased speaking, he said that he knew very
well all I had said was true, and that to resort to such a course was
the most horrible alternative which could enter into the mind of man;
but that he had now held out as long as human nature could be sustained;
that it was unnecessary for all to perish, when, by the death of one,
it was possible, and even probable, that the rest might be finally
preserved; adding that I might save myself the trouble of trying to turn
him from his purpose, his mind having been thoroughly made up on the
subject even before the appearance of the ship, and that only her
heaving in sight had prevented him from mentioning his intention at an
earlier period.

I now begged him, if he would not be prevailed upon to abandon his
design, at least to defer it for another day, when some vessel might
come to our relief; again reiterating every argument I could devise, and
which I thought likely to have influence with one of his rough nature.
He said, in reply, that he had not spoken until the very last possible
moment, that he could exist no longer without sustenance of some kind,
and that therefore in another day his suggestion would be too late, as
regarded himself at least.

Finding that he was not to be moved by anything I could say in a mild
tone, I now assumed a different demeanor, and told him that he must be
aware I had suffered less than any of us from our calamities; that my
health and strength, consequently, were at that moment far better than
his own, or than that either of Peters or Augustus; in short, that I was
in a condition to have my own way by force if I found it necessary;
and that if he attempted in any manner to acquaint the others with his
bloody and cannibal designs, I would not hesitate to throw him into the
sea. Upon this he immediately seized me by the throat, and drawing a
knife, made several ineffectual efforts to stab me in the stomach;
an atrocity which his excessive debility alone prevented him from
accomplishing. In the meantime, being roused to a high pitch of anger, I
forced him to the vessel’s side, with the full intention of throwing him
overboard. He was

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Text Comparison with The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition

Page 0
Perrett The Decorations by Will Jenkins [Illustration] Paul Elder and Company San Francisco and New York Contents Foreword .
Page 1
It is felt that no other introduction could be more happily conceived or executed.
Page 2
There is a radical error, I think, in the usual mode of constructing a story.
Page 3
Here I say No, at once.
Page 4
My next thought concerned the choice of an impression, or effect, to be conveyed; and here I may as well observe that, throughout the construction, I kept steadily in view the design of rendering the work universally appreciable.
Page 5
The pleasure is deduced solely from the sense of identity—of repetition.
Page 6
I resolved to diversify, and so heighten, the effect, by adhering, in general, to the monotone of sound, while I continually varied that of thought: that is to say, I determined to produce continuously novel effects, by the variation of the application of the refrain—the refrain itself remaining, for the most part, unvaried.
Page 7
I saw that I could make the first query propounded by the lover—the first query to which the Raven should reply “Nevermore”—that I could make this first query a commonplace one—the second less so—the third still less, and so on, until at length the lover—startled from his original nonchalance by the melancholy character of the word itself, by its frequent repetition, and by a consideration of the ominous reputation of the fowl that uttered it—is at length excited to superstition, and wildly propounds queries of a far different character—queries whose solution he has passionately at heart—propounds them half in superstition and half in that species of despair which delights in self-torture—propounds them not altogether because he believes in the prophetic or demoniac character of the bird (which, reason assures him, is merely repeating a lesson learned by rote) but because he experiences a phrenzied pleasure in so modeling his questions as to receive from the expected “Nevermore,” the most delicious because the most intolerable of sorrow.
Page 8
The fact is, that originality (unless in minds of very unusual force) is by no means a matter, as some suppose, of impulse or intuition.
Page 9
Now, each of these lines, taken individually, has been employed before, and what originality “The Raven” has, is in their combination into stanza: nothing even remotely approaching this combination has ever been attempted.
Page 10
So far, everything is within the limits of the accountable—of the real.
Page 11
The casement being thrown open at the fluttering of the bird’s wings, the bird itself perches on the most convenient seat out of the immediate reach of the student, who, amused by the incident and the oddity of the visitor’s demeanour, demands of it, in jest and without looking for a reply, its name.
Page 12
seek a moral in all that has been previously narrated.
Page 13
[Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
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” [Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
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Perrett, the initials and decorations by Will Jenkins, the typography designed by J.